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    Michelle Gomez is a time-traveling Madame Rouge in Doom Patrol S3 trailer / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 1 September, 2021 - 22:29 · 1 minute

Michelle Gomez is always a welcome addition to any series, whether playing the Master on Doctor Who or Madame Satan on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina . So we were thrilled to learn she was joining the cast for the upcoming third season of Doom Patrol . And now we have our first good look at her portrayal of Madame Rouge in the official S3 trailer.

(Spoilers for S2 below.)

A S3 teaser dropped a few weeks ago , largely focused on the lingering plot line from the pandemic-curtailed S2: namely, Dorothy Spinner's (Abigail Shapiro) confrontation with The Candlemaker. Dorothy, as fans will know, is Caulder's (Timothy Dalton) daughter, who has a special ability to bring imaginary friends to life. That's not so bad when it was a friendly giant beast named Manny or Herschel the giant spider. But The Candlemaker is linked to a tribal curse and is a far more insidious creature. He emerges whenever Dorothy makes a wish, and widespread slaughter is usually the result. In the S2 finale, Dorothy got her first period, marking her transition into womanhood, and The Candlemaker's powers began to manifest in the real world.

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    Let them fight! Mortal Kombat red-band trailer gives fans what they want / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 18 February, 2021 - 19:51

Warner Bros. has released the red-band trailer for its forthcoming Mortal Kombat reboot, which had long languished in development hell. A Russian-dubbed version of the trailer initially leaked on reddit, according to Eurogamer , before being pulled . It's basically a nonstop, blood-soaked fighting fest, featuring all the fan favorites from the popular video game franchise .

(Some spoilers for the games and earlier films below.)

Midway Games released the first Mortal Kombat game in 1992, which proved hugely influential for many a teenager who frequented video arcades during that era. There have been 11 main games and multiple spinoffs in the franchise thus far, all set in a fictional universe of eight different realms. The greatest warriors from the various realms must compete in a series of Mortal Kombat tournaments to conquer other realms.

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    AT&T eats a $15.5 billion impairment charge as DirecTV debacle continues / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 27 January, 2021 - 18:26 · 1 minute

A man with an umbrella walking past a building with an AT&T logo.

Enlarge / A man walks with an umbrella outside of AT&T corporate headquarters on March 13, 2020, in Dallas, Texas. (credit: Getty Images | Ronald Martinez )

AT&T lost 617,000 customers from DirecTV and its other TV businesses in the final quarter of 2020, capping a year in which it lost nearly 3 million customers in the category, AT&T reported today .

AT&T today also informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has taken "noncash impairment charges of $15.5 billion" related to its ongoing DirecTV debacle. AT&T said the $15.5 billion charges reflect "changes in our management strategy and our evaluation of the domestic video business... including our decision to operate our video business separately from our broadband and legacy telephony operations." This operational decision "required us to identify a separate Video reporting unit and to assess both the recoverability of its long-lived assets and any assigned goodwill for impairment," AT&T said.

AT&T said it also logged "charges of approximately $780 million from the impairment of production and other content inventory at WarnerMedia, with $520 million resulting from the continued shutdown of theaters during the pandemic and the hybrid distribution model for our 2021 film slate."

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    Godzilla vs. Kong trailer is a rock ‘em, sock ’em monster mashup / ArsTechnica · Sunday, 24 January, 2021 - 23:02 · 1 minute

Two powerful forces of nature collide in a battle for the ages in Godzilla vs. Kong , premiering simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on March 26, 2021.

It's powerful Titan pitted against Titan in the first trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong , the fourth film released as part of Legendary Picture's " MonsterVerse " franchise, co-produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Directed by Adam Wingard, the film is not meant to be a remake of the 1962 Japanese classic, King Kong vs. Godzilla; rather, per Wingard , it will directly tie into the events of its 2019 predecessor, Godzilla: King of the Monsters , and feature a "more rugged" and aging Kong.

(Some spoilers for some prior films in the MonsterVerse franchise below.)

The MonsterVerse franchise started in 2014 with Godzilla , in which a soldier tries to return to his family while caught in the crossfire of the battle between Godzilla and a pair of parasitic monsters known as MUTOs . The studio followed up three years later with Kong: Skull Isla nd , set in 1973, in which a team of scientists and soldiers travel to the titular Skull Island and encounter Kong, the last survivor of his species. And in 2019, the studio released Godzilla: King of the Monsters , a sequel to the 2014 film, in which Godzilla and Mothra team up to defeat a prehistoric alien named King Ghidorah, who has awakened other ancient creatures (Titans) to destroy the world.

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    Review: Heartbreaking His Dark Materials S2 finale sets the stage for war / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 12 January, 2021 - 21:11 · 1 minute

The second season of <em>His Dark Materials</em>, starring Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua, concluded just before the new year.

Enlarge / The second season of His Dark Materials , starring Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua, concluded just before the new year. (credit: BBC/HBO)

The first season of His Dark Materials , the BBC/HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman's classic fantasy trilogy, had its share of critics, particularly with regard to its sluggish pacing. Fortunately, those shortcomings have been successfully addressed in the riveting second season. Freed from the creative burden of establishing an elaborate fictional world for viewers unfamiliar with the books, S2 was a briskly paced, yet still emotionally resonant experience, despite being one episode short because of pandemic-related production difficulties. Ruth Wilson's fiercely feral portrayal of the complicated Mrs. Coulter remains a highlight, and the heartbreaking season finale perfectly set the stage for the final showdown of S3, which has already been greenlighted by the studios.

(S1 spoilers below; also some S2 spoilers below the gallery, especially for audiences who haven't read the books.)

As we've written previously, the three books in Pullman's series are The Golden Compass (published as Northern Lights in the UK), The Subtle Knife , and The Amber Spyglass . They follow the adventures of a 12-year-old girl named Lyra, who lives in a fictional version of Oxford, England, circa the Victorian era. Everyone has a companion daemon in the form of an animal—part of their spirit that resides outside the body—and Lyra's is named Pantalaimon. Lyra uncovers a sinister plot that sends her on a journey to find her father in hopes of foiling said plot. That journey takes her to different dimensions (the fictional world is a multiverse) and ultimately to her own coming of age.

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    HBO Max patches its Roku hole six months after launch / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 17 December, 2020 - 00:59

The Roku logo has been photoshopped into a screenshot from Wonder Woman in which the titular character is using her whip against henchmen.

Enlarge / Whip it good, HBO Max. (credit: Aurich Lawson / HBO Max )

As 2020 draws to a close, HBO Max's 2020 stumble into the streaming-video fray has begun smoothing out , and the subscription service will soon seal its biggest North American gap: a spot on the Roku marketplace.

Starting tomorrow, December 17, North American Roku owners will finally be able to download and access the HBO Max app, as confirmed by a joint statement by Roku and WarnerMedia , the entertainment conglomerate that's wholly owned by AT&T. The official statement didn't mention what previously prevented owners of Roku set-top boxes and smart TVs from accessing the $14.99/mo subscription service, though it did acknowledge a new "agreement" between the companies—which was likely a financial one.

And that agreement was likely significant, owing to the whopping 100 million-plus users currently hooked into the Roku ecosystem. It follows a November move by WarnerMedia to get HBO Max onto Amazon Fire streaming-video devices . That's not all—PlayStation 5 users can add HBO Max to that console's "media" tab starting today, as well.

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    Wonder Woman 1984 will reach theaters, HBO Max the same day: December 25 / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 00:37 · 1 minute

Wonder Woman 1984, now coming to HBO Max the same day it hits theaters.

Enlarge / Wonder Woman 1984, now coming to HBO Max the same day it hits theaters. (credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

After weeks of rumors, a leaked trailer has let the golden lasso out of the bag: Warner Bros. Pictures' oft-delayed film Wonder Woman 1984 has finally conceded to the pandemic with a massive digital launch plan.

The film's December 25 launch date had been previously announced after being bumped out of June, then once again out of October. That Christmas launch date remains fixed for theaters around the world—including those in the United States that remain open in the face of rising COVID-19 contraction rates. The news today is that HBO Max , which currently operates exclusively in North America, will additionally serve the film on the same day—and without charging existing subscribers any extra fee on top of its $14.99/mo rate.

This plan differs from Disney's September launch of its live-action Mulan remake , which was restricted to theaters in countries without the paid Disney+ subscription service. In territories with Disney+, on the other hand, subscribers could pay a one-time fee of $30 to access the film for unlimited viewing , or wait until December 4 to access the film as part of the standard Disney+ $7.99/mo service.

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    Zack Snyder drops B&W updated version of trailer for Justice League miniseries / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 17 November, 2020 - 21:59 · 1 minute

There's not much new footage in this black-and-white version of the trailer for ZackSnyder's Justice League , but at least the music rights issues have been resolved.

Fans eagerly awaiting the debut of Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max next year were thrilled to hear that a new trailer was coming today to mark the third anniversary of the theatrical cut's release. They're probably feeling a teensy bit cheated right now, since what dropped was actually an updated black-and-white version of the teaser trailer from the virtual DC FanDome event in August—although the eagle-eyed viewer will spot a few seconds of new footage. But at least Snyder also provided a virtual breakdown of said trailer during a livestreaming event on Vero.

The August trailer had been removed from YouTube earlier this month because of contested music rights issues—the trailer was set to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Now those issues have been resolved , and Snyder marked the occasion with this latest black-and-white offering, Cohen soundtrack intact. (You can watch the full-color version here.)

Apparently, Snyder's ideal vision for Justice League would be a black-and-white IMAX version. "That, to me, is the most fan-centric, most pure, most Justice League experience, because that’s how I lived with the movie for two years, in black-and-white," he told The Film Junkee in a recent interview.

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